How To Choose The Best Accent Chair
Need help choosing the best accent chair for a room in your home. With just a few savvy tips you can confidently choose a chair that will be a winner!
Accent chairs can make or break the decor in a room! Choosing the best accent chair can add a layer of interest and style but choosing one that is not right can stick out like a sore thumb! We can choose one that is the perfect chair for any room with just a little savvy decorating know-how!
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Make sure to stop at the bottom of the post to see all the accent chair links and sources.
Accent chairs are perfect for many rooms in your home so just don’t think they are for living rooms or family rooms. If you have room in your foyer or bedroom an accent chair would be perfect. Accent chairs are just right to fill those empty and awkward places in our rooms.
From a simple design to ostentatiously ornate there is a perfect accent chair for you and almost any room in your home.
Here are some smart questions to ask yourself and savvy tips for choosing the best accent chair for your space.
WHAT TYPE OF FURNITURE IS AN ACCENT CHAIR?
An accent chair is a single-seat chair that does not get as much use as the foundational furniture in a room. It still gets used but is most often a piece of furniture whose main function is to add style, be visually attractive and bring interest to a room.
IS AN OCCASIONAL CHAIR THE SAME AS AN ACCENT CHAIR?
The short answer is no. An occasional chair is really not for regular use. Its main job is to look pretty!
In today’s post, we are talking about accent chairs! These are chairs that are not like the sturdiest pieces of furniture in your room but work when you need extra seating.
THINK ABOUT HOW YOU WILL USE AN ACCENT CHAIR
Here are some questions to ask yourself before you buy a new accent chair…
These questions will help you decide if you really need a chair, and direct you to the best kind of accent chair for your needs and lifestyle.
If your chair will get lots of use make sure it has a sturdy construction and fabric that will hold up to wear.
If it’s mostly decorative, design and style may be considered over construction. Saying that a chair must be sturdy enough to sit in! But you already knew that.
THINK ABOUT CONSTRUCTION
We all want an accent chair that is constructed well and sturdy. Most of us pick out a chair for how it looks and how it will fit into the room we want to put it in.
However, construction is also important. The more wear and use an accent chair will get the more important its construction becomes.
Wood frames are more enduring than other chair constructions. But they will probably cost significantly more. So don’t discount other materials used in an accent chair’s construction that aren’t as expensive as wood and will give you a nice sturdy chair.
It’s important to become familiar with how an accent chair you are considering is made.
THINK ABOUT TYPES AND STYLES OF ACCENT CHAIRS
One very important thing to think about is the style. While an accent chair does offer extra seating you will want to add color, be visually interesting, and add your personality to a room.
Accent chairs come in so many various styles.
Here are just a few…
- arm chairs
- wingback chairs
- side chairs
- slipper chairs
- barrel chairs
- club chairs
- Chesterfield chairs
- swivel chairs
- lounge chairs
- convertible chairs (ones with foldable backs)
- and so many more
And accent chairs come in so many different styles too…
- Farmhouse style
- Modern style
- Traditional style
- Coastal style
- English Country style
- French Country style
- Mid-Century Modern style
- Glam style
- Bohemian style
- Contemporary styles
Think of an accent chair as that person who enters a party and the whole room lights up! Those people have tons of personality and are just so interesting. Choosing the style of your chair should help towards these same goals!
Think about the style of the furniture in a room. Do you want the accent chair to compliment your primary style or do you want it to emphasize a secondary style?
An accent chair can add a bit of whimsy, fun or sass to a room but it should not off-road too much from your home’s style! We want it to be a team player as well and the life of the party!
ACCENT CHAIR FABRICS
Accent chairs, like all other furniture, come in a plethora of upholstery choices. The secret is to choose a chair that works with your color palette, the patterns in your room, and with your lifestyle.
Different types of fabric on an accent chair can drastically change a chair’s look. Just think of how a chair would look in soft caramel leather or a boucle with its distinctive nap. Or a linen or sturdy performance fabric.
Leather upholstery was made for traditional clubs with nailheads and heavy linen for Bergére chairs with their French curves.
Every fabric has a personality and feel. And it will add to the personality and feel of a chair.
Patterns and color also play a huge role when choosing the best accent chair for a room. A chair that brings a much needed pop of color or other bold colors to a room will often become a mini focal point! Earthy colors used on an accent chair add warmth and coziness to the room they are in.
A beige or off-white chair can add neutral and natural beauty to a room! And these lighter-colored, slim design chairs are very popular modern accent chairs right now! Other common colors you will find in on-trend accent chairs are greige, beige, and gray.
ACCENT CHAIRS SHOULD BE COMFORTABLE
You will need to answer just one question when you want to know if an accent chair is comfortable.
You must ask yourself the goldilocks question!
You must ask yourself the GOLDILOCKS question!
Is it too hard or too soft or is it just right. You want your accent chairs to be just right when it comes to comfort! Because you are not adding an occasional chair to your room, this is a chair that will get used. And nobody wants to sit on an uncomfortable chair!
“Pretty” is important but comfort, when it comes to accent chairs you will actually use, trumps pretty EVERY TIME!
SCALE AND PROPORTION
Knowing how a chair relates to a room and how it relates to the other furniture in a room is why scale and proportion are such important things to consider.
You want to ask the Goldilocks question again.
Is the accent chair you are considering too big or too small for the room or for the other furniture in the room? Or is it just right!
Scale and proportion are very important design concepts to know!
The standard height for an accent chair is about 35 inches tall but can vary a bit. And the standard inch seat height is about 16 inches. Knowing the measurements of a chair will help you know if it is just right for your room.
If you want to use an accent chair as a dining room chair consider the height of the chair. You will want it to be a bit taller and the back a bit straighter than most accent chairs. Parsons and slipper chairs make good dining room chair choices. And knowing the seat height will keep you and those around the table from sitting too low or high at the table!
I’ve broken down the interior design speak to share with your everything a home decorator needs to know about these very important design elements. Make sure you read ELEMENTS TO DESIGN… SCALE AND PROPORTION. It will help you to pick out the perfect accent chair.
THINK ABOUT PLACEMENT
Here’s another great question to ask yourself when you are considering adding an accent chair to a room. Is there enough space in your room for an accent chair?
For a chair to look attractive and be comfortable to sit in, there needs to be enough room for it! You don’t want your room to look too crowded. Overcrowding a room is a real and common issue when we decorate.
Most home decorators tend to add too much furniture and decor to a room.
A room needs to have negative space. In design, space is both positive and negative. It’s easy to think of negative space as empty space! And just the right amount of negative space causes beauty and comfort!
Just try taking away something from a room you are not all that thrilled about and rearrange the furniture. You will be shocked by what a little bit of space actually adds to a room.
The bottom line is, make sure you have space in a room for another chair and for the negative space around it. This is smart decorating.
Read ELEMENTS OF DESIGN… SPACE for another designer lesson broken down into easy-to-understand, doable processes you can use in your home!
Choosing an accent chair for a room in your home is a personal preference. Knowing how to choose the best chair is a combination of both science and art!
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SOURCES FOR BEAUTIFUL ACCENT CHAIRS
The accent chairs below often come in a selection of different colors.
This post contains affiliate links. See our Discloser Policy.
Wonderful information! Comfort IS everything! It’s difficult to order chairs on line because they can’t be tested for comfort. Like buying shoes—-I must try them on!
When it comes to foundational furnishings I agree! But I’ll buy an accent chair online. Most of them have been very comfortable.
Accent chairs should also be at a height where we can easily rise from seating position. I’ve been in homes where getting up is difficult because the chair is low. Something to keep in mind if you are older or have friends and/or family that is. My daughter has a sectional in her living room that is too low for me to sit on, so as a family I can’t snuggle in with the grandkids to watch a movie, instead sitting in the one chair with some height.
Hi Joanna, seat heights are getting lower. I feel your pain!
Such great information, Yvonne! We are looking for 2 new chairs for our living room at the moment. I have always loved those white chairs by the fireplace in your living room. They are beautiful. However, we have not found anything here in Canada that compare to yours. We just might have to order from the USA!
I hope you find what you LOVE!